Regulate govt employees’ cell phone usage in office, Madras HC to TN

The Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench has directed the Tamil Nadu government to regulate the use of mobile phones of government employees during office.

It asked the government to frame rules and regulations for the use of mobile phones and cameras inside office premises during office hours.

A bench of Justice S.M. Subramaniam said that usage of mobile phones during office hours was gross misconduct and employees must not be allowed to use these during office hours for personal reasons.

He said that if there was emergency permission must be taken from the higher officials before the phone is used.

The court directed that in all circumstances, the mobile phones should be either switched off or in silent mode to prevent any discomfort to people who are approaching the government offices as well as other staff in the office while they were engaged in office work.

Justice Subramaniam also said that using mobile cameras during office hours was causing discomfort and would disrupt the functioning of offices.

He directed the state government to take serious note of the subject and to issue a circular or note to the employees to store all mobile phones in a cloakroom during office hours in switched off or silent mode.

The court was hearing a petition filed by D.S. Radhika, a government employee from Tiruchi, challenged the suspension order issued against her for frequently using mobile phones during office hours and shooting videos of coworkers.

The court disposed of the petition and directed the officials to conduct an inquiry and conclude the same with immediate effect.




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